MI5 expresses ‘deep and deep’ regret over Manchester Arena bombing

The hearing into the attack has now concluded in Manchester and a report from the chairman is expected later this year.

Lawyers for the security services said it was “deep and profound” to regret that suicide bomber Salman Abedi was able to carry out his plot on May 22, 2017.

Cathryn McGahey QC, representing the Home Office, said MI5 was determined to do all it could to protect the public from future atrocities.

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MI5 has expressed its condolences to the families of the 22 people murdered in the Manchester Arena bombing as the final hearing in the public inquiry into the terror attack draws to a close.

But she also defended the security services against allegations of “missed opportunities” to arrest the suicide bomber, heard during the 196-day public hearing, which began in September 2020.

Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders will write reports indicating whether the attack could or should have been prevented, the planning and preparation by the bomb conspirators, Salman and his brother Hashem.

Lawyers for the families have highlighted the flow of information entering the security services about Abedi and the fact that he was opened as a “subject of interest” (SOI) by MI5, before until his case was closed four months later in July 2014.

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